American singer Anita Pointer, who enjoyed success in the 1970s and 1980s with her sisters in the rhythm and blues group “Pointer Sisters”, died on Saturday at the age of 74 from cancer, announced his agent.
“I am sad to announce that my Grammy-winning client Anita Pointer has passed away after a heroic battle with cancer,” Roger Neal posted on Instagram.
She died on New Year's Eve at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by her family, he told CNN.
“Despite our deep sadness at the loss of Anita, we are comforted to know that she is now with her daughter Jada and her sisters June and Bonnie, and at peace,” the Pointer family said in a statement.
The group, originally from Oakland, California, was originally formed by Anita and her sisters June (died April 2006), Bonnie (died June 2020) and then Ruth. They had started singing in the church where their father was pastoring in Oakland.
The Pointer Sisters, initially marked by jazz, bebop and gospel, released their first album in 1973 and won three Grammy Awards during their career. Their foray into country music with the song “Fairytale” in 1975 had earned them the first, and they had been invited to the legendary hall of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, a first for black artists.
The band had grown to three members after Bonnie defected in 1977 to pursue a solo career.
This did not prevent the Pointer Sisters from multiplying their successes at the turn of the 1980s -Fire, He's So Shy, Slow Hand or I'm so excited-, with a repertoire oscillating between nods to the "scat" of the years 1940 and disco.
Although their popularity had waned by the late 1980s, the Pointer Sisters continued to perform in concert. June Pointer had left the group in 2004, replaced by a daughter of Ruth, Issa.